Don’t be fooled by the throwback font and talented young cast – this show about all kinds of things that go bump in the night is definitely not just for kids.
Set in a small town in 80s Indiana, Stranger Things is the story of how a young boy disappears, a mysterious girl appears, and the journey that follows to find out what’s happened to both of them. We’ll give you some clues, it involves a big secret lab with men in biohazard suits, a thing without a face and several terrifying trips to something the characters call the ‘upside down’ – all very spooky.
This show looks just mesmerising, but in a weird way. It has a kind of vintage film over it, with the incessant browns and beiges that seem so intertwined with that era in style seeping into every corner. It feels nostalgic and yet completely refreshing simultaneously – there’s influences from Twin Peaks and Goosebumps as well as modern mindbenders like Chronicle, and it makes for a really engaging mix.
Oh, and we loved that each episode was a chapter, with an actual name. It made it feel more old school, more like a story.
What really makes it is the cast – Winona Ryder is perfectly on the edge as a frantic mother searching for her son, and the supporting characters of Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and police chief Hopper (David Harbour) are all really strong, there’s no weak link.
But, the real stars of the show are the 4 kids at the centre of it.
The aforementioned mysterious girl is called 011, Eleven, or El for short, and she is quite simply magical. Played by Millie Bobby Brown, who seems to have acting ability that far exceeds her years, she is scared, strong, endearing and powerful all in one go – and her big brown eyes widen to draw you in to her emotion every time. We ended up caring just so much about her character, and yes, shed a tear or two over her.
There’s also 3 young boys that really bring the show to life – Mike, Dustin and Lucas (played by Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin respectively) are unstoppable in the search for their friend, and the quality of their performances is undoubtable.
We may be wusses, but this show is genuinely creepy, and there’s so many tense and scary moments that really build to a climax in the last few episodes. The storyline is gripping and surprising and so, so lean, meaning every part has you interested and there’s never a dull or throwaway moment.
Quite simply, we loved it, and were sad for it to end.
Keep ’em coming, Netflix…
If this hasn’t piqued your interest enough, here’s the Stranger Things trailer for season 1. Give it a watch, you won’t regret it.